August's Hottest Gadgets

Posted on: 08 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

The best must-have gizmos on the market.

Every year, gadgets come out that rock the foundations of what’s possible and bring us closer to the world of tomorrow.

Last year’s top gadget was undoubtedly the iPhone, but this year we’re seeing glimpses of virtual reality, the beginning of the fully automated car and printing without ink.

With that being said, here is our list of top 10 gadgets which will have consumers reaching for their credit cards throughout August.

Some of the prices are in US Dollars as these gadgets are only available in the United States but the wonders of the world wide web make purchasing gadgets from around the globe possible.

1) ZINK Digital Camera/ Printer 

ZINK camera and printerLike a new-age Polaroid, the ZINK’s camera/printer allows you to take your digital shot, preview it and then print it on 2” x 3” paper, all in a matter of seconds.

ZINK stands for “zero ink” that means there is no toner, ribbon or ink required. Instead, the camera heats the colour-spectrum crystals embedded within the paper to bring the high-quality image to the surface. Like the Polaroid before it, this gadget could literally change how society takes and prints digital photos.

Available from ZINK for $199.99.

2) Samsung NV100HD

Samsung NV100HDSamsung has managed to cram a whopping 14.7 megapixels into its new compact camera, out this month.

Designed to make your friends, and no doubt the competition, green with jealousy, the NV100HD is the world’s first compact 28mm camera to pack in such a high pixel count, according to its doting owner.

In addition to high resolution snaps, it can also gobble up HD video too and thanks to the built in HDMI port you can watch the 720p footage on your big screen TV. Hook it up to a compatible Samsung googlebox and you can even use the telly remote to control play back on the camera.

Add on both optical and digital image stabilisation to keep your shots blur free plus automatic free recognition, a blink sensor to avoid closed eyes and even smile detection to catch people when they’re looking their  best and you’ve got a feature packed little snapper.

Available from Samsung for £229.

3) Dash Express GPS

Dash GPSNo longer content with simply providing directions from point to point, manufactures are starting to pack more and more features into in-car GPS devices. The latest include the ability to download movie times, find a parking spot and avoid the traffic jams. One company, Dash Navigation, has launched a unit called the Dash Express which aims to harness the power of its community to avoid traffic jams.

The unit has the ability to receive real-time traffic date from different sources, including units belonging to other owners. In effect, each unit works as a traffic sensor sending a user’s speed and location over a permanent internet connection. Back at Dash HQ, the company calculates up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and suggests alternative routes if there is a traffic snarl ahead.

In theory, the device should get better as more Dash users hit the roads. It has been developed in collaboration with Yahoo and allows the users to conduct web searches for locations or even the cheapest fuel. The US service costs from $10 a month.

Available from Dash for $299.99.

4) Nike + iPod Sport Kit

Nike+ iPod Sport KitThe Nike+ iPod Sport Kit allows you to track distance, time, pace and calories burned during your workout. All that you are required to do is stick the allotted sensor in your Nike+ shoes and off your run.

The real-time verbal feedback makes your iPod your personal coach, telling you milestones in your workout.

Available online at Amazon for £21.29.

5) Amazon Kindle

Amazon KindleWeighing less than a paperback at 10.3 oz, Amazon’s new e-book reader includes 88,000 titles, with all bestsellers listed at $9.99. It can hold 200 titles at one time and has a battery life of up to a week without a recharge. It also includes exclusive subscriptions to top US and international newspapers and magazines, 250 blogs, email capability and Wikipedia access.

It’s a one stop shop for all things literary and it’s all delivered wirelessly in under a minute from the Kindle store.

Available online at Amazon for $359.99.

6) Slacker 

SlackerFinding new music is always one of life’s joys and web services like Slacker have helped. But now you can get access to undiscovered tunes on a portable device. Slacker is releasing a portable media player which uses a Wi-Fi connection to help you discover new bands and musicians. It’s being touted as the world’s first personalised portable radio player.

It works by downloading new songs to your player, based on your music preferences, each time you enter a Wi-Fi hotspot or connect the device to your computer.

You can have 40 different “radio stations”, holding up to 4,000 songs on the player, which comes in 500MB, 1.5GB and 4GB flavours. The service and player are only available in the US at the moment and is expected to be released in the UK at the end of January.

Available from Slacker for $299.99.

7) Slingbox SOLO

Slingbox SoloThe latest model in the Slingbox arsenal, the SOLO allows you to watch your television anywhere in the world, either through your laptop or your mobile phone. A streaming device that doesn’t require any monthly fees, the SOLO connects to equipment such as your DVR, satellite system of cable box to deliver HD-quality TV signals to anywhere in the world – meaning you can watch your local news from a hotel in Bangladesh or a documentary on China in your office’s break room.

The SOLO’s easy-to-use software, SlingPlayer, allows laptop-users to watch their favourite programs and use programmes like Microsoft Office at the same time.

Available from Sling Media for $179.99.

8) Sony Network Sharing Camera

Sony Network Sharing CameraThis is a camera built for everyday life; it’s compact enough to take with you, it can shoot up to five hours of web-ready video and it switches to a 5-megapixel digital camera with the push of a button. The built-in software means uploading is easy, and you can transfer your videos to the web right away.

You also have the ability to shoot video and instantly expose it to an internet audience meaning any budding filmmaker can share his work right after the take.

Available from Sony Style for £199.99.

9) Dell Studio Hybrid PC

Dell Studio HybridWhen you think of Dell, you don’t usually think of small, great-looking PCs – more big black plastic towers. But that could be about to change, thanks to the new Studio Hybrid range.

This compact, curvy and colourful PC is designed to save desktop space, not to mention the environment; according to Dell its small size means it uses around 70% less electricity than a typical desktop computer. It measure up at 196.5 v 71.5 x 211.5mm.

Inside you’ll find a standard load out of an Intel Pentium Dual Core processor, 1GB Ram, 160GB hard drive and a DVD writer. Throw a bit more money its way and you can trade up to a 320GB hard drive and a slot-loading Blu-ray/CD/DVD combi-drive, and fit it with an 8-in-1 media card reader. There are five USB ports too, a wireless keyboard and mouse but there is no screen or monitor included.

Available from Dell Hybrid for £399.

10) Phillips Portable Charger

Phillips chargerPortable gadgets are great – until they run out of power but with this portable charger you’ll never be stuck again.

The Phillips SCM7880 Universal charger behaves like a normal juicer at home – just plug your favoured gadget into its USB port and wait for it to top up its battery. It comes with a range of interchangeable tips, so you should find a suitable one for your new portable friend.

It also comes packing a set of plugs for us around the globe, so no matter where you are in the world you can still charge up your toys.
However, the really clever bit is that it also has a reserve battery built in so should your brand new, must have 3G super phone run out of power for some reason there’s no need to panic. Just hook it up and you’ll get an extra 15 hours of power when you’re out and about.

There’s an LED indicator on the top so you can quickly see how much power is left, and it’ll even flash to let you know when it’s fully charged so you don’t waste electricity unnecessarily.

Available from Phillips for £35.

Are you a gadget fan? What's your favourite gadget?

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